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Is David Hockney's Trollish Logo For 'The Sun' An Act Of Revenge?

By Holly Brockwell on at

Veteran artist David Hockney is a household name for a reason: he's incredibly talented. So when The Sun unveiled the one-off reworking of its logo that they'd commissioned from Hockney and it came out looking like something a preschooler made in MS Paint, questions were understandably asked as to whether Hockney was taking the mick. And it turns out he might have a reason.

Image: Jack Eastham/Twitter

The logo was created on an iPad, which is not unusual for Hockney - he once did a whole exhibition of things he'd drawn on iPhones and iPads - but while the brushstroke style is evident in some of his other works, this one looks like it was either done at the very last minute or in an act of defiance. As many people have pointed out, the sunshine could be mistaken for an anus, and getting a mainstream newspaper to unknowingly print a hands-free Goatse on its front page is surely the dream for trolls everywhere.

But why would the artist embarrass the paper this way? Perhaps because he disagrees with their editorial stance, or opposes their coverage of Hillsborough - or perhaps because when a young man died at the openly gay Hockney's home in 2013, the Sun published a story captioning an image of the dead man with the word "bender."

Image: Pink News

Hockney's 23-year-old assistant Dominic Elliott died after drinking bleach while the artist was asleep, and Hockney was not implicated in his death. Elliott had been partying with Hockney's then-partner  John Fitzherbert, who drove him to the hospital but was tragically unable to save him.

The Sun's caption ostensibly referred to the drink and drugs 'bender' that Elliott was on at the time of his horrific death, as detailed in the article accompanying the image - but the photo caption was literally just the word 'bender.' Which - especially given the paper's chequered history with LGBT rights - is very likely to offend.

Of course, maybe this is all just coincidence and Hockney genuinely likes the logo he produced, which appears on the masthead of the printed paper throughout the country today

Image: Neil Henderson/Twitter

But it wouldn't be the first time a logo has been used to take petty revenge on a news company, like when we all found out via a Postsecret submission that the Reuters logo is apparently a flushing toilet.

Image: Postsecret

Whatever your view of Hockney's logo - and some news outlets have given it high praise - I think we can all agree that The Sun have got great value out of the commission. Even if it's not in the way they intended.

Main image: The Sun